Fine Gael has formally lodged a fresh complaint into Lisa Chambers voting practices, thecan reveal.
The complaint, lodged to the Oireachtas Committee on Members' Interests in the name of Louth TD Fergus O'Dowd, has been lodged following weekend media reports to the effect Ms Chambers voted in Timmy Dooley's seat on several occasions in January.
Mr O'Dowd's letter of complaint, seen by the, was sent to the Clerk to the Dáil Committee on Members Interests on Monday.
The letter states: “A previous complaint was made in relation to Deputy Chambers about her voting for Deputy Calleary that I understand the Committee is dealing with. Media reports indicate that the Committee are poised to issue a warning to the Deputy over her voting once for Deputy Calleary on October 17th 2019.”
This further information indicates that Deputy Chambers sat in the seat of and voted on behalf of Deputy Timmy Dooley on seven occasions on January 17th this year.
"I understand that votes were also recorded on behalf of Deputy Chambers on this occasion,” Mr O'Dowd said.
“I would bring to the Committees attention a radio interview given by Deputy Chambers to RTE’sprogramme on the 21st October this year in the context of the complaint in relation to voting for Deputy Calleary. During that interview Deputy Chambers indicated that this was the first time she had ever voted for another Deputy. That was clearly not the case,” Mr O'Dowd asserts.
Referencing the Standards in Public Office Act 2001, Mr O'Dowd said: “I would contend that this new information is extremely important to the investigation carried out by the Clerk of the Dáil into the Calleary complaint, and previous repeated voting for a colleague by Deputy Chambers should have been brought forward during the Calleary complaint.
The failure to disclose this information to the Committee on Members Interests when investigating the Calleary complaint (if it was withheld) constitutes the carrying out of a specific act under Section 4 of the act.
“Additionally, I say that such actions are inconsistent with the proper performance by the specified person of the functions of the office or position by reference to which he or she is such a person or with the maintenance of confidence in such performance by the general public, and the matter is one of significant public importance,” he said.
He therefore asked if the matter could be investigated by the Committee on Members Interests.
In response, a Fianna Fail spokeswoman said: "The most recent complaint place by Fine Gael to the members interest committee is an abuse of the committee."
"Given the most recent reports in relation to voting practices that had been allowed to develop in the Dail. There was a practice where members voted for colleagues that were inside the Chamber . Even the Taoiseach himself said he did that at times so is he going to be referred to the Committee."
This is a politically motivated, selective and vexatious complaint. Fine Gael are showing signs of being desperate as they are running out of ideas and have decided to go on nasty attacks instead of discussing matters of substance, the statement said.